[Updated August 23, 2022 at 4:00 PM EST]
A total of $15 million dollars in federal funding has been allocated for the Child Care Infrastructure Grant Program through Governor Mills’ Maine Jobs & Recovery Plan and Child Care Plan for Maine. The Maine Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) Office of Child and Family Services (OCFS) is administering the Child Care Infrastructure Grant Program through a partnership with CEI.
Existing family child care owners interested in moving outside their home to expand their licensed capacity (as permitted by the Child Care Facility Licensing Rule and the Fire Marshal Day Care & Nursery School Requirements) are encouraged and eligible to apply for up to 50% of their related expansion costs up to $30,000.
Grant awards received may be used for the following purposes:
- Purchasing or renting a building and renovating it to deliver high quality child care. Selected examples include adding a window to allow for egress and to add natural light, removing a wall to increase the size of a room, adding an accessible ground-floor bathroom and installing a fire alarm system.
- Constructing a new building that is designed to enhance a child’s development.
- Buying educational materials for the new children to be served. Selected examples include books, musical instruments, developmentally appropriate toys and consumable supplies, such as paper, paint and chalk.
- Acquiring indoor furniture and fixtures for the increased capacity. Selected examples include tables, chairs, cribs and sleeping mats.
- Creating an outdoor learning environment that accommodates the additional children. Selected examples include building pathways, gardens or activity centers, such as a mud kitchen.
- Buying playground equipment to include more children. Selected examples include swings, sandboxes, shade areas, playsets and energy-absorbing material.
- Procuring health and safety supplies and other materials required to increase your licensed capacity. Selected examples include first aid kits, electrical outlet covers and gates.
- Having sufficient working capital on hand for the first month. Selected examples include money to cover payroll and children’s food while you adjust to new subsidy and USDA food program levels.
Priority will be given to applications from Aroostook, Franklin, Penobscot, Piscataquis, Somerset and Washington Counties. In addition, applicants committing to the following will receive bonus points:
- Providing care for infants
- Providing care for toddlers
- Providing care for families income-eligible for subsidy
- Participating in the USDA Child and Adult Care Food Program
There are 2 steps to the application process:
- FCC to Facility Application 1, which entails submitting the required documentation. It is anticipated that this application may take up to 2 hours to complete.
- FCC to Facility Application 2, which includes a description of your plans (number of children, hours of operation, and services provided) plus a list of your expansion expenses. You will receive a link to FCC to Facility Application 2 after you complete FCC to Facility Application 1 and it has been Accepted. It is anticipated that this application may take 4 to 6 weeks to complete. Applications will be accepted through July 31, 2023 or until all funds are awarded, whichever occurs first.